In the Creative Garden (or: Every Endeavour Has a Starting Point)

First off, I apologize for the extremely long absence. I can’t say at this point that I am going to be writing something regularly because I want this to be about quality and not so much quantity. I know others can do it and maybe someday I will also. But in the mean time … I offer this.

So what brought all of this? What drove me to write three feature-length scripts, which I would like to turn into three films?

The story actually begins in 2005. I had graduated from the College of William and Mary and was in that “post-college/pre-employment angst” period. For most people, the plaguing question is “What” as in “What are you going to do?” For myself – and I’m sure this is true for many a creative type – the plaguing question was “How” or “How are you going to do it?” And I was never absolutely sure how I was to achieve any and all creative aims I harboured. Furthermore, I was trying to start an adult life, meaning finding a job where I can support myself and leave the nest. And then other preoccupations and unresolved grief that only arise when everything is not going well. But I’m not one to twiddle thumbs and wait for something to happen. All it takes is planting seeds and with enough care, persistence and allowing of outside elements to work its own magic, it can sprout and become something. So that’s what I did and what I’ve always done: looked for and catch those ideas like fireflies.

One such idea was On Nights Like This. I knew right away the general story structure: starts with a breakup, then goes through another relationship and it’ll end where it “starts.” In time, other elements will come into play such as what episodes will occur during the story and who the characters will be. The first attempt occurred during the first half of 2006 and it ended being nothing more just a vague outline, a few scenes (with differing degrees of completion) and a scattering of notes here and there. The second attempt – November 2006 – used a different approach and this time it was a novel. The original intent was to write the novel and have that be script (no or little attempt to translate it into the screenplay format). While the first and second acts were flushed out, it was still not complete. And a third attempt in June 2007 took whatever I wrote and actually transformed it into a script and again it was not complete.

During all of that time, I went through a lot. I had a music project called The Spangle Maker initiated on May 2006 and through its evolution spawned two EPs, an LP and several singles by October 2009. I also had a spotty day-job career in order to support myself and my endeavours. I was also a choir director at Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA. Finally I made an effort – and succeeded – in moving from the familiar landscape of Virginia outside of Washington, DC for the unfamiliar landscape of greater Boston. And I even found time for some love … and some more loss.

2009 was a tough and bleak year. The move was not as smooth or graceful as I would have liked it to have been. Without some steady income, it was hard to get around and truly settle. New problems piled on top of old problems and I felt as if I were stuck deep in this endless mire with no hope of rescue. Also I felt more and more disenchanted with working on music as a career path. While I still enjoy making music and I haven’t given it up, I also felt that making new music is a futile and useless gesture. So once again – as I always do – I was tending the creative garden by planting seeds.

In October, I revisited that idea and all of its previous incomplete attempts at writing a finished product. Suddenly it became very clear that this is what I need to do: finish what I began so long ago. And in this period of rediscovery, two seedlings were planted and they would become All That We Are and Walk in Silence. After working on notes and final formulation for a month and then less than a month in actual scriptwriting, I finished the first draft of On Nights Like This on 11 December 2009.

The first half of 2010 was spent working on two more drafts of On Nights Like This (its final draft was 18 June) and working out the storyline and the characters for All That We Are and Walk in Silence. The second half of 2010 was spent actually writing three drafts each of All That We Are and Walk in Silence and its final draft dates were 10 November and 21 November respectively. And while 2010 was marked with turbulent episodes and seem to continue the 2009 depression, working on these scripts and getting to know these characters provided a much needed oasis from the raging storm.

Things are a lot better than they were a year or two ago. However there’s always room for improvement. And in the meantime, I tend the garden and all that is in it. This should at least explain why I’ve been silent for a long while.

P.S. I could always use some assistance (of one sort or another) with tending the garden =]

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